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A Run May Jog Your Memory

A steady exercise regimen may be the connection between a fit body and a sharp mind. Struggling to remember where you left your car keys? Remember what you ate for breakfast? A recent study took a significant step forward in explaining how exercise improves memory among other health benefits. Scientists have identified a protein released by our muscles during exercise that can stimulate nerve growth associated with memory. The study used cell culture, mouse models and human subjects to identify cathepsin B, a muscle secretory factor which stimulated the growth of new neurons in the brain region associated with memory. Researchers studied the effects of exercise and found a correlation between exercise and increasing cathepsin B levels with better performances on memory tests. Those individuals that had the largest increase in cathepsin B were those that showed the greatest memory improvement. This study will have large implications especially as it could lead to therapeutics to improve brain function of people suffering with dementia. Overall, the study suggests that maintaining a long-term exercise regimen has many health benefits.

However, the results of the study do not clearly define the role of cathepsin B. Previous reports have implicated a role of cathepsin B in various cancers and amyloid plaque formation associated with Alzheimer’s disease, whereas others have suggested a neuroprotective role and could clear amyloid plaques. People who are at risk of Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may not be as mobile, and that prevents them from regularly exercising. This shows that trying to artificially increase cathepsin B levels may not be the answer to improving memory.

Clearly, more research on the role of cathepsin B is necessary. Enzo Life Sciences is your resource for a wide variety of products to aid in your research- from purified proteins, antibodies to detection kits.

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